Germany’s Special Forces – The requirements for a new assault rifle are out

    The BAAINBw (Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support) has released an order for new assault rifles for Germany’s Special Forces.

    They will purchase a total of 1 705 rifles between September 2017 and June 2019.


    The requirements are setup as follows:

    1. 5.56 x 45 NATO Caliber
    2. Fully automatic gas pressure charger
    3. Two-sided, ambidextrous operation
    4. Signature damping (in other words compatible with Sound suppressor)
    5. STANAG 4694 Rails on hand guard and top of receiver.
    6. Length without signature damper (suppressor) max. 900mm
    7. Use in areas with climatic categories A1-3, B1-3, C0-2 and M1-3 according to STANAG 4370 without restriction of functionality.
    8. Life of the receiver (house) at least 30,000 rounds; Lifetime of the barrel at least 10,000 rounds.
    9. Maximum weight of 3.8 kg without magazine and without optics
    10. Accessories such as laser module, flashlight and other supporting equipment possible.

    (Please excuse any translation mistakes)

    The current list of rifles and equipment used by the German Army can be found here at Wikipedia.

    One of the units to receive this rifle would most certainly be the German SOG, KSK Kommando Spezialkräfte (Special Forces Command), with handpicked elite soldiers.


    My conclusion is they are in need for a quick replacement for the current HK G36, and they need it “tomorrow”. September is only 8 months away, so there’s not much chance to be too picky and start re-designs of current models.

    Looking at specification above, I’d say that the BAAINBw just specified the Heckler & Koch 416 A5, but there are a few other rifles that might comply.

    1HK416A5-GermanyYou can match the HK416 A5 here:

    Try the 14.5″ version for best success.


    Other contenders could be the FN Herstal SCAR. The new RS556 from Steyr Mannlicher and Rheinmetal is probably too new and untested, plus the weight is too high at 4,2 kilos.

    SIG Sauer MCX or the German Haenel CR223 could also make it. Bear in mind that Haenel have won a few contracts recently, for instance with the German Police as well as the new G29 Sniper Rifle.

    Even the B&T APC556 could make the specification. And the new Surefire Composite Carbine (not named at point of writing, but about to be released at SHOT Show 2017) would with a large margin pass the weight requirements.

    There are a few M4 rifles as well. Remember that the Swedish SOG have chosen the LWRCI IC-A5, as discovered by TFB very recently:

    BREAKING: Swedish SOG now confirmed with LWRCI and HK MP7


    In addition to the larger batch of service rifles, five “samples” and a further 40 “reference models” are needed.

    For companies based outside of the EU, BAAINBw included the following phrase in the tender documents:

    For companies not based in the EU , The application for participation must also contain the following information: 1. A certificate or documentation proving that the applicant can fulfill the obligations relating to the execution of the contract with regard to the export, transit and transit of goods, including supporting documents from the competent authorities of the Of the Member States concerned. 2. The information on all restrictions on the obligation to notify, ship or use the goods and services applicable to the contracting entity as a result of export control or safety restrictions or on the definition of such goods and services.

    This will be a very interesting tender to follow. Stay tuned and place your bets.

    Eric B

    Ex-Arctic Ranger. Competitive practical shooter and hunter with a European focus. Always ready to increase my collection of modern semi-automatics, optics and sound suppressors. TCCC Certified medic.